Q: How can I kill weeds in my garden -- and keep them from coming back -- without using harmful chemicals?
—Kathryn Fritze, Towson, Md.
A: Old-fashioned elbow grease actually outperforms chemicals. The key is to pull up weeds as soon as you spot them, when they’re young and haven’t gone to seed. Remove them at the roots, by hand or with a garden hoe, so they won’t resprout. For the speediest weeding, pull them just after it has rained, when the ground is soft. To quickly get rid of a trouble spot, try pouring boiling water, vinegar, or lemon juice over it (repeat if needed). Also, mulching your garden beds should keep weeds from returning.